Attributing the recent spike in prices of sand and gravel to the government’s crackdown on illegal mining, Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder said the prices will come down once more legal mines become operational over the next few days.
In a meeting chaired by the CM on Saturday, the directorate of mines and department of industries and commerce made a detailed presentation highlighting the mining situation in the state and the measures being taken by the department to check illegal mining and improve the supply.
They said 59 mines were ready for auction and the department has already has issued their 15-day auction notice. Auction will be held on April 18, with allotment to take place on April 20 and production to commence by May 20. Another 58 mines, the environmental clearance of which is currently pending, are likely to be auctioned within 60 days thereafter, and will become operational by mid- August.
- Permits of de-silting, dredging of sand be given to irrigation department
- Pre-qualification criterion for transparency in auctions
- Speedy environmental clearances for new mines
- Better coordination between enforcement agencies
- Special courts for speedy and effective trial of offences
The CM asked the officials to come down heavily on the “mining mafia, which flourished during the previous Badal government”. He was informed that the police department had provided one superintendent of police-rank officer and two deputy superintendent of police-rank officers to check illegal mining. Districts have been allotted to these officers for inspection.
A district mining helpline with dedicated mobile, landline number and email ID is being set up in addition to a PB-GRAMS portal for illegal mining complaints.
The CM directed the officials to frame a new transparent mining policy within 30 days and submit its draft for further review. The meeting was also attended by finance minister Manpreet Badal, local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu and rural development minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa.